Massachusetts Republican State Committee Members React To Jim Lyons Winning Re-Election As GOP Chairman

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The Massachusetts Republican State Committee was divided, but they ended up choosing to stick with incumbent Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons when it came down to a vote on Sunday afternoon.

He topped Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) in the vote 39-36, winning another two years in the position.

Following the vote, New Boston Post reached out to every member of the Republican State Committee via email to see what they had to say about the election. Of them,

Here is a look at what they had to say about the decision on Sunday.

Geoff Diehl (2nd Plymouth and Bristol District, Whitman)

I’m glad State Committee members recognized the hard work Chairman Lyons has put into refocusing the MassGOP efforts towards down-ticket races. Increasing Republican representation in the legislature is critical to the debate that is lacking on Beacon Hill and it’s just as it is important as the work to field excellent candidates for the Constitutional offices that will be elected in ’22.

Dennis Galvin (First Middlesex, Westford)

All but two of the eighty member Massachusetts Republican State Committee, gathered in a parking lot, drive-in movie style, at the rear of the 1A Auto Distribution Center in Littleton MA to re-elect Jim Lyons as chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party. Lyons faced a strong challenge from current Republican state representative Shawn Dooley, but was able to edge Dooley by a 39 to 36 vote. One committee member cast a blank ballot.

In a bold decision, the party decided to go forward with its planned election for chair, at the height of the Covid-19 holiday spike. Meticulous adherence to public health rules and regulations were followed with regard to masks and social distancing. As members sat in their cars, they listened to the candidates speeches via FM radio and came up to cast their ballots in groups of five.

The race intensified over the past couple of months following a release of party financial records by Lyons to the United States Attorney in Boston, which revealed a long-standing pattern of improper payments, padded expense accounts and loose record keeping involving consultants associated with the previous leadership of the party. Lyons came under sharp criticism from some quarters of the party’s establishment for those disclosures, but he maintained that these were necessary to comply with his policy of full transparency with regard to party business. Dooley was viewed, by some, as the establishment candidate, whose mission was to punish Lyons for those disclosures.

Lyons’s victory was significant because it signaled the ascendency of new independent management for the party which appears dedicated to integrity, improved performance and inclusion. His victory is viewed as an affirmation of his policy of total transparency with regard to party affairs, and a new strategic orientation, that will emphasize expanding Republican presence in the legislature.

Amanda Kesterson (First Essex & Middlesex, Gloucester)

I’m so glad that Jim was re-elected as chairman of the MassGOP. Jim has worked incredibly hard despite major obstacles thrown at him and his vision for rebuilding our party is strong. I believe the state committee members felt that he earned a second term. I’m extremely optimistic for the future of our party now that Jim can continue what he has started to support our candidates to victory.

Frank Ardinger (Worcester & Middlesex, Leominster)

Both candidates were good candidates. Both seem to have solid plans for the next two years. Both called for unity. It’s now up to the State Committee to work together in implementing a solid plan focused on building the grassroots, finding good candidates for winnable races, and get them elected in 2020.

Caroline Colarusso (Fifth Middlesex, Stoneham)

It is time for the Republican Party of Massachusetts to come together and build for the future. The Chair has an opportunity to bring together the various factions of the party to form a unified state committee that can better advance Republican values. With 5 to 1 supermajorities for democrats (progressives) in the MA Legislature our party has to get serious about holding firm to, focusing on, and better articulating to the voters the core principles that define us as Republicans or face extinction.

Steve Aylward (Second Suffolk & Middlesex, Watertown)

As a Chairman, Jim Lyons has been a breath of fresh air. Unlike so many of our so called Republican Legislators and our political Ruling Class, Jim actually believes in taking the Democrats on, and fighting for true Republican values. Jim represents the everyday working person. The vote today reflects that. I am proud to stand with Jim, then, now and in the future.

Kathy Lynch (First Middlesex, Westford)

In a close win, the members of the Republican Party, myself included, decided today that fiscal integrity and social conservative values is what our state needs right now.

Debby Duggan (Second Suffolk & Middlesex, Watertown)

Today’s win for Chairman Lyons and our Republican Party, might have been a narrow margin but OH, SO beautiful! We will continue to fight for what is right, in a world that seems to prefer the opposite! 2021 is off to a great beginning!

Tom Mountain (Massachusetts Republican Party Vice Chairman, Newton)

Now is the time for the Mass. Republican Party, and in particular its governing board, the Republican State Committee, to put aside our petty difference and work towards our primary purpose — to defeat Democrats and elect Republicans. As MassGOP vice chair, that is my first and only goal.

Daniel Kelly (First Suffolk, Boston)

Jim has worked so hard for the party and his victory is well deserved. He is a guarantor that the Republicans in Massachusetts will be a conservative alternative for voters looking for a change from the Democratic extremists that control our state legislature.

Brian Genest (Second Essex & Middlesex, Dracut)

It was my pleasure to vote for my friend Jim Lyons for re-election as MassGOP Chairman,” Genest wrote. “He is a conservative Republican with the vision, conviction and experience we need to keep moving our party forward with strong leadership. Jim is a man of integrity, principle and character. He doesn’t run away from being a Republican, depending on who’s listening. This is a special day for conservatives, our party and all Republicans in our state who want to work with the MassGOP to help make Massachusetts great again. State Committee members had a clear choice and we chose one of our own — a conservative, leader and a good man — to keep up his good work, especially the sanitizing sunlight he’s shined on outrageous past party spending and other financial practices.

Joyce Kelly (First Suffolk & Middlesex, Revere)

It was a well-orchestrated Chairman’s event. Both candidates gave their goals what they would do in the next 2 years. It was impressive and everyone was polite, as we all waited for the big announcement. Finally, Jim Lyons spoke to the crowd as we sat in our cars, with the heaters on, listening to the radio for the results.